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New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
Human rights update - Week ending 10 February 2013
Rights NGO Forum
draws research evidence from our members, partners and international
stakeholders. It covers on-going concerns on the partisan nature
of Zimbabwe's security sector, progress on constitution making,
deteriorating educational standards, tentative judicial victories
by human right defenders and international interventions on the
worrying human rights environment for human rights defenders
sector Reform: 06.02.2013
Human Rights Association (ZimRights) raises
concerns about the comments made by the Security Minister Emerson
Mnangagwa, who dismisses the civil society demands for security
sector reform as unpatriotic and a quest to satisfy western agenda
for regime change and exploitation of Zimbabwe's natural resources.
Whilst calling for the army to be non-partisan, ZimRights castigates
the Minister's speech which echoes previous utterances of
a similar nature by senior army personnel. In a related story, Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairman Godwills Masimirembwa
has defended the army's involvement in diamond mining activities
in Chiadzwa, saying security forces were entitled to be involved
in all the country's economic activities.
of Assembly passed the motion adopting the COPAC Report
on the constitution-making
process and noting the draft
constitution. This came at the end of a sitting lasting more than
four hours during which the motion was supported by speakers from
all parties and there were no dissenting voices. The Senate adjourned
before completing its separate debate on an identical motion and
approved the motion later that afternoon. The passage cleared the
way for COPAC to embark on its planned publicity drive to acquaint
the country with the contents of the draft constitution ahead of
the Referendum (Veritas,
National Students Union (Zinasu) shared its deep concern over
the poor performance of 2012's 'O'
level candidates. Among a raft of demands, Zinasu urged the
government to allocate more funds to the education sector, an end
to political violence which in the view of the Union is one of the
reasons many qualified and experienced teachers flocked out of the
country for greener pastures much to the detriment of the education
sector. Lastly the Union demands peaceful elections to avoid disturbance
of the learning of pupils.
the European Parliament (MEPs) condemned the arrests
of Human Rights Association workers Okay Machisa, Dorcas Shereni
and Leo Chamahwinya in their Zimbabwe offices in December
2012, shortly after they denounced the growing police brutality
across Zimbabwe and called for action by the competent authorities.
MEPs call on the Zimbabwean authorities to release anyone detained
for defending human rights and to end their judicial harassment.
MEPs also deplored the lack of a human rights clause in the EU's
recently-concluded interim Economic Partnership agreement with four
African States, including Zimbabwe, and ask the EU to include such
clauses in future economic partnership negotiations with the country.
The statement can beaccessed on the Eurpean parliament website.
This follows a similar statement by the United Nations' Office
of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. These international perspectives
resonate with Zimbabwe civil society's statement urging democratic
governments to speak out against repression of civil society in
Rights Defenders: 08.02.2013
Judge, Justice Mwayera finally granted ZimRights Highfields Local
Chapter chairperson Dorcas Shereni bail. In a judgment delivered
on Friday, February 8, in Harare, the Judge stated that Shereni
is to maintain her current residence and report to the police Law
and Order Section once every week as part of the bail conditions.
Meanwhile two other cases involving ZIMRIGHTS were postponed. Also
on 08.02.2013, Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) leaders,
President Pride Mkono and Secretary General Tryvine Musokeri, who
both spent weeks at Hwahwa prison over a student demonstration at
the Midlands State University (MSU) in 2011, were acquitted
by Gweru Magistrate Msipa on Friday, February 8, 2013. Magistrate
Msipa dismissed the case on merit
Peace Trust issued a statement marking exactly one year since
the disappearance of Mr Paul Chizuze, fellow human rights activist
and stalwart campaigner for peace and justice in Zimbabwe. In part,
the statement read, 'We remember with gratitude the values
you stood for, the decades you committed to the pursuit of democracy,
peace and justice in your country. We are still looking for you,
alive or dead. We continue to search for the truth about the events
that led to your disappearance'.
Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) provides an Election
Watch covering different media perspectives on the current presenting
issues during the month of January 2013, as the country prepares
for elections. The Report which covers agreement on the constitution,
disagreements on voters' registration, intra-party divisions
and politically motivated violence will soon be posted on MMPZ's
website or can be sent upon request.
will follow in the next issue suffice it to say that all stakeholders
need to keep a watching brief on the undulating terrain regarding
human rights defenders and the utterances by security chiefs.
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